Senate panel hears Dixon's mining bills


Three mining bills sponsored by Carroll Del. Richard N. Dixon were heard in the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee in Annapolis yesterday.

In addition to Mr. Dixon, three people testified on the bills, which are designed to protect residents living near quarries.

Those testifying were Samuel W. Christine III, president of the Maryland Aggregates Association Inc.; New Windsor resident Linda Cunfer, a spokeswoman for the Statewide Coalition on Non-Coal Surface Mining; and Robert Miller of the state Department of Natural Resources.

No one opposed the bills, which mining industry representatives and citizens say strike a balance between their interests.

The House passed the bills Feb. 26.

The Senate committee did not vote yesterday on whether to send the bills to the Senate for consideration.

Mr. Dixon, a Democrat, has introduced the legislation for the past several years. The bills seek to balance mining with other land uses while mineral resources are protected.

Current state law favors mining companies' interests, said Mr. Dixon and residents.

House Bills 505, 507 and 508 would establish tougher requirements for restoring abandoned quarries, increase bonds used as security against damages and require the state to review local mining plans.

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